Maryland's Zero Tolerance BAC Policy
Maryland along with all the other states tell you that the legal limit for alcohol consumption and the operation of a motor vehicle is .08. That if you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a breath alcohol content in excess of .08 you are in trouble. Conversely if your BAC is .07 or less you are not in trouble. This is a complete fallacy and it is untrue. The more you are educated on the truth of this matter the safer you and your fellow motorist on Maryland’s streets will be. In fact. Occasionally you will see overhanging signs on the Beltway that say .08, under arrest but unfortunately this is not the true nature of the law and for some reason the government is in no hurry to tell you the truth.
The truth he is that Maryland and all the other states have driving while impaired or DWI offenses which cover breath alcohol content of .07 or less. There are an overwhelming number of clients that come to the office who have been charged with an alcohol related offense who blow between .04 and .07 and wonder why they been charged. The alcohol law in Maryland is that if your “normal coordination” is impacted to the slightest degree then the Maryland courts can presume that you are impaired while operating a motor vehicle. And if you are impaired during the operation of a motor vehicle then you are guilty of driving while impaired or DWI. Now that is not to say that once case is not defendable when they blow a .05 or .06 just that the police and the prosecutor’s office and the judges will in fact be looking at an alcohol-related charge while the defendant driver is completely unaware of the fact that he or she may be breaking the law.
Therefore, it is fair to say that Maryland has nearly a zero tolerance position on alcohol related offenses because a Maryland driver does have exposure to an alcohol-related ticket for nearly any BAC and this is something the motoring public does not know or expect. Therefore if you are leaving a restaurant and have had only one drink but yet have alcohol on your breath you can expect the police officer to get you out of the car and run through his normal routine of field sobriety tests and preliminary breath test. If you happen to blow a .03 - .05 on his preliminary breath test you definitely have exposure for an alcohol-related ticket. It is up to the police officer’s discretion at this point but when you as the driver fail to do an exemplary job on the roadside gymnastic tests also known as field sobriety tests you can expect to be arrested by this police officer and be put through the system. Unfortunately at this point you will be required to retain counsel to get you out of this mess while still experiencing all the anxiety, embarrassment and shame of having to deal with this situation. While it is most unfortunate, the likelihood of a successful outcome remains high.